The Slice

When certain people refuse to disappear

A little more than 30 years ago, I worked in a newsroom with a guy who didn't like me.

I knew this because friends there were kind enough to share with me some of his comments.

As I didn't happen to care for him either, this situation was fine with me.

Besides, everyone pretty much realized his resentment was based on two key facts. The editors praised my work. And this one woman in features he desired made it clear that she liked me.

Anyway, he moved on in fairly short order. There really wasn't any need to give him another thought.

Oh, I found it mildly amusing to read long ago that he managed to get fired from a large Northwest daily during his first week at work there. But for the most part, he was gone and forgotten.

Well, he would have been if he hadn't managed to cobble together a pretty decent freelance career.

You see, the guy can really write.

Over the years, I saw his pieces in a variety of national publications. This would always prompt an odd reaction. It was a combination of  "Gee, I wish he had taken a swing at me all those years ago" and "Wow, this is a nice profile."

Shouldn't people you don't like have the decency to lack talent?

I saw his byline again yesterday, in a weeks old issue of The New York Times magazine. As usual, the piece was well done.

I suspect he is still an ass who enjoys ripping people behind their backs. But boy, he has a readable prose style.




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